Issuu on Google+


速 2

Perspectives / Fall 2005


in this

issue – Allison Swick-Duttine, Editor

On the Cover: Photo by Steve Uzzell, ©2006, all rights reserved. Waitaupo Thermal Pool, Waitaupo, North Island, New Zealand. The very high sulphuric acid content of the water has turned the rock surrounding the thermal pool this vivid, saturated color. The beauty of the color helped get past the almost unbearable odor!

I

remember my friend Rick Barnes once telling me that no one ever reads the editor's column in magazines. This has challenged me over the past year with how to make this column relevant to Perspectives readers. My conclusion is that the best use of this column would be to share the voices of fraternity and sorority professionals and members rather than always rambling on myself. I received a submission from Bob Kerr, Coordinator of Greek Life at Oregon State University, around the same time I had made the decision to reinvent “The Mighty Quill.” Ironically, the theme of Kerr’s article had to do with renewing dedication to the profession, one of the underlying themes of this issue. Kerr posed the following: “The blurring of passion for the work and the desire to get off the front line can become overwhelming. What do you do when it is time to recharge the batteries? How do you stay as enthused and energetic about your 30th year as you were the moment the phone rang and you received your first job offer?” Following is some of Kerr’s advice: • Go to the Association of Fraternity Advisors Annual Meeting. This conference, and others like it, keeps us focused on the current trends and issues. Go, even if you have to pay your own way.

• Do active research. Whether as part of a team, or as the principal investigator, research provides fuel for hope and genuine insight into the big picture. • Read! The more you learn the more you can teach. A myriad of disciplines can be applied to fraternity/sorority work. Broaden your horizon and see where it takes you. • Develop relationships with executive directors and inter/national presidents. These people have been involved in the movement for years and their passion remains as keen as ever. Learn from them. • Become fascinated with the reality that our students are smarter than we are, although we have the edge in experience. Together, the combination is a powerful leverage for positive change in any fraternity/sorority community.

A FA

10

The First 30 Years

Make Every Venture… an Adventure

14

The First 90 Days:

16 Transitioning into a New Job Staying in the Game:

Longevity in the Fraternity 18 and Sorority Advising Profession

22

To Ph.D. or Not To Ph.D.?

• Find a way to give back to the world that is not through your inter/national organization, your school, or AFA. This creates balance and perspective. • Enjoy the rhythms of a campus environment. Get out and smell the roses and soak in the beauty of the campus. Besides, walking is good exercise. • Be focused on professional development. Have written goals for improving your effectiveness and watch your work satisfaction grow. • Cultivate mentors and engage them frequently. Regardless of your tenure, there are always colleagues who can help guide you through the rough spots. • Build new skills such as becoming a certified mediator, a certified facilitator, or a public speaker. This will enrich your work and build new opportunities for success.

regular columns The Mighty Quill ...................................... 3 From the Top..............................................4 Core Competencies ....................................6 Putting it in Perspective ............................20

continued on page 4 Spring 2006 / Perspectives

3


Perspectives is the official publication of the Association of Fraternity Advisors, Inc. (AFA). Views expressed are those of the individual authors/contributors/advertisers, and are not necessarily those of the Association. AFA encourages the submission of articles, essays, ideas, and advertisements. All Perspectives correspondence and submissions should be submitted to:

Allison Swick-Duttine 2006 Editor Director of Fraternity/Sorority Life & Leadership Development State University of New York College at Plattsburgh Angell College Center 204 101 Broad Street Plattsburgh, NY 12901-2681 allison.swick@plattsburgh.edu 518.564.4825 Fax: 518.564.4839 Perspectives is published four times per year. Submission deadlines: Spring February 15, 2006 Summer May 15, 2006 Fall August 15, 2006 Winter November 15, 2006 Send address corrections to AFA: Association of Fraternity Advisors 9640 N. Augusta Drive, Suite 433 Carmel, IN 46032 317.876.1632, Fax 317.876.3981 info@fraternityadvisors.org

2006 Editorial

Board Monica Miranda Smalls Vice President for Resource Development James Barber Megan Johnson Dan Bureau Kirsten Siron Young Kurtis Foriska Melinda Sutton Timothy Haskell Michael Hevel

4

Perspectives / Spring 2006

Is Fraternity/Sorority Advising – Dr. Ron Binder, AFA President a Career?

W

hen I started my student affairs career in 1986, the conventional wisdom at the time was that fraternity and sorority advising was merely the first step in the career ladder. After this time you moved on to other positions and the administrative chain. For many of our institutions, this is still the case, since many campus-based positions are entry-level jobs intended for graduate students fresh out of their Master’s programs. After having now been in the field of fraternity/ sorority advising for 20 years, I believe we must challenge the notion that this field is restricted to entry-level positions that lead to something ‘better’.

Today, more and more institutions are recognizing the value of keeping seasoned professionals engaged in fraternity/sorority advising positions. Several institutions have committed resources and support to encourage individuals to remain in these roles for long periods of time. These institutions know that it can take years to understand and positively impact a campus culture or effectively nurture relationships with students, alumni, inter/national organizations, and other integral constituents. For professionals to remain committed to sorority and fraternity advising, institutions need to support professional development, provide resources, and legitimize the service these practitioners provide. I have been fortunate to have worked for two institutions where these concepts were a reality. We must encourage more colleges and universities to follow suit. Inter/national fraternities and sororities are also changing their organizational culture to create meaningful work experiences for more seasoned professionals. There is a growing recognition that the individuals in these positions must be retained for more than a few years to make a significant impact. More inter/national organizations are also creating positions specifically working with alumni and volunteer boards. These positions are critical to fostering truly effective alumni and volunteer boards. An individual who has several years of experience in fraternity/sorority advising (whether for a campus or inter/national organization) is far more qualified to serve in this role. Several organizations have made goals

of increasing the average tenure of their staffs. One example of this is the growing practice of no longer hiring newly graduated students to serve as front-line staff. AFA has greatly benefited from professionals who have decided to continue as fraternity and sorority advisors, either for colleges/universities or for inter/national organizations. They have served as mentors to younger members, assisted with improving curriculum at the Annual Meeting, developed new resources for members, served in leadership roles for the Association, and much more. Much like a chapter would be wise to retain and engage their senior members, it is in all of our interest to keep our senior professionals engaged in our Association. AFA is committed to providing meaningful experiences and valuable learning opportunities for our seasoned members. Professional advocacy is a major goal area of AFA’s strategic plan. With the help of our committed volunteers, we seek to improve the legitimacy of the fraternity and sorority advising profession, resulting in longer tenure for both campus-based and inter/national organization staff. We see value in this goal and are committed to it as a future for our Association. As the emerging trend of longevity in the fraternity and sorority advising profession grows into a community norm, those who continue to passionately engage themselves in this meaningful profession will allow for continued, positive progress in the fraternal movement.

The Mighty Quill continued from page 3 • Set aside weekly time for reflection and contemplation. This will allow you to mentally review things and explore creative solutions that can make you more effective. “The world of fraternity/sorority work is a dynamic and fluid environment,” Kerr said. “Having gone through burnout in my first position, I became passionate about balance and effectiveness. It salvaged my career and has provided me a great sense of anticipation for the coming years. Life on the front line can be great!”


Spring 2006 / Perspectives

5


Moving the Fraternal Movement Forward: Getting Involved, Staying Involved

I

recently sat in a restaurant with two colleagues from the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life at University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill laughing about our adventures of the previous weekend. Together, the three of us work with approximately 2,500 students affiliated with 53 organizations. We are busy people managing high demands from all constituents of the University and local community. We work with controversial organizations which provide mental, physical, and emotional challenges. We commit long hours every day including weekends and holidays. We talk to faculty, alumni, parents, parents who are alumni, alumni who are faculty, and all of whom do not fully understand our dedication to creating a positive student experience. While we love the work we do, it can be a lot to handle! So why dedicate even more time by becoming further involved in the profession? Will involvement benefit us personally or professionally? Will it help us learn those “transferable skills” we convinced ourselves we would gain when we first entered the profession? Can it enhance the volunteer work we do for our own fraternal organizations? If you find yourself volunteering for a conference in your area, hosting a regional event on your campus, referring to AFA resources, talking about your job with a young student leader, or even paying your graduate/alumni dues to your fraternal organization, you are getting involved and moving the profession forward. It became clear why the stories my colleagues and I were sharing at lunch that day were funny. Jenny had hosted a dinner party for 20 women she had met through her sorority alumnae network. Megan had hosted a traveling consultant from her national organization that was visiting chapters at UNC and Duke University. I had just returned from a weekend meeting fraternity brothers at my national conclave. We were laughing at how much fun we had that weekend – fun while volunteering for our fraternal organizations. When I think of where my professional path will take me in 10 years – even five years – I wonder if it will still involve some aspect of fraternity and sorority life. Then I have to stop and remind myself, of course it will. My fraternity experience has made such a deep impression on my life that I dedicated my entire career to moving the fraternity/sorority community forward. I firmly believe this is true to some extent with all of those invested in the fraternal movement.

6

Perspectives / Spring 2006

– Jay Anhorn

When I look at the Association’s Core Competencies, I think about what I do outside of work. I believe that if I am embracing these characteristics without thinking about it, then I must be in the right field. Partnerships, coalitions, learning opportunities, ethical standards, communication and technology: these are not only core values in my work, but also in my life. • I drove seven hours to attend my national conclave and to facilitate two educational sessions. I got four e-mails from my brothers that very next week asking for advice on how to work with their fraternity/ sorority life advisor. • Megan talked to the traveling consultant about seeking a Master’s degree (and ultimately a career) in higher education and helped the consultant decide to apply to graduate school this spring. • Jenny’s event was a huge success. The women asked a lot of questions about her involvement in AFA. They want more information on how to join. Why do we stay in our profession? Why do we get more involved? Maybe because it is natural. It is being who we are, and working to live.

– Jay Anhorn is the Director of Greek Affairs at the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill.

“When I think of where my professional path will take me…I wonder if it will still involve some aspect of fraternity and sorority life. Then I have to stop and remind myself, of course it will. My fraternity experience has made such a deep impression on my life that I dedicated my entire career to moving the fraternity/sorority community forward.”


Leveraging Assessment to Advance the Profession – David G. Butler and Sally Vestal

S

ince the Association of Fraternity Advisors (AFA) and Educational Benchmarking (EBI) first undertook the development of the AFA/EBI Fraternity/Sorority Assessment, our primary objective has been to improve the overall effectiveness of programs and services on campuses and in the profession as a whole. Providing campus professionals with access to a powerful assessment tool can allow them to analyze the perceptions of their students, identify where improvement should be made, and where resources ought to be allocated. Advancing the profession begins with improving the fraternity/sorority experience, campus by campus, for the benefit of students, their institutions, the Association, and the profession. For change to happen at the most local level, campus professionals must embrace the link between assessment and improvement. By using a benchmarked assessment it is possible to identify campuses with outstanding programs. Reviewing the programs and practices of those campuses enable the profession to identify effective practices confirmed

A

by a comprehensive data bank. AFA could then take the lead in sharing the information and offering training in effective practices to campus-based professionals. To make this possibility a reality, professionals need an understanding of how assessment builds toward improvement. How are assessment results used to guide the use of time and money to actually improve the campus experience? Do you just work to raise low performance scores or is there a better way? Program assessment can identify low performance areas, but how do you know that improving in those areas will improve your overall program effectiveness? The AFA/EBI Fraternity/Sorority Assessment offers an advanced analysis called the Custom Statistical Analysis Report (CSAR) that provides the answers. To understand how the AFA/EBI Fraternity/Sorority Assessment identifies with considerable certainty where to use resources for overall improvement, it is necessary to have a basic grasp on how this information is developed. We offer continued on page 8

C A T H A R S I S

P R O D U C T I O N S

P R E S E N T A T I O N

SEXSIGNALS As performed for over 250 different audiences in 2005, Sex Signals has become one of the most popular lecture programs on the college market. Using an interactive, semi-improvisational approach, the program takes a challenging and provocative look at dating, sex, and date rape on college campuses today. It is sure to get your students talking!

Showcased in 2005 at the WRGLC and AFA Conferences. Look for it in 2006 at the MGCA and WRGLC!

Visit us at our website at www.catharsisproductions.com F O R M O R E I N F O R M AT I O N , C O N TA C T C AT H A R S I S P R O D U C T I O N S AT 7 0 8 . 3 8 6 . 5 8 9 1 F O R B O O K I N G I N F O R M AT I O N , C O N TA C T B A S S / S C H U L E R E N T E R TA I N M E N T AT 7 7 3 . 4 8 1 . 2 6 0 0

Spring 2006 / Perspectives

7


Leveraging Assessment to Advance the Profession continued from page 7

Survey: There are 77 perception questions on the assessment that utilize a seven point Likert scale in which the number one represents “very dissatisfied” and seven represents “very satisfied.” In addition, the assessment poses 14 demographic or profile questions. In 2005, twenty-seven colleges and universities participated in the assessment and submitted 15,600 responses from fraternity and sorority members.

Interpreting Results: The Custom Statistical Analysis Report (CSAR) is an AFA/EBI assessment analysis option that identifies which factors are predictors of Overall Effectiveness. The CSAR also identifies the factors that have the most impact on Overall Effectiveness and those that have little or no impact. Not everything you do has an equal impact on students. Spending time and money in areas that have no or little impact on overall effectiveness is generally unproductive. Applying resources to high impact areas can drive overall improvement.

Factor: For the AFA/EBI Assessment, the 77 perception questions are used to evaluate 15 factors. A factor (also called a “construct”) is a cluster of questions that focus on a larger, important concept. For example, rather than asking members how well the fraternity/sorority improved their social skills, we ask a series of questions within a “Personal Development” factor that explore the member’s ability to meet new people, establish friendships, etc.

An important feature of the CSAR is the Priority Matrix. The Priority Matrix is an executive summary that gives you the big picture in one glance. It answers the question, “Where do I focus scarce resources to improve my program?” The matrix is divided into four sections or quadrants based on the factor's level of performance and how much the factor influences overall effectiveness. The four quadrants are: Top Priority; Maintain and Improve; Maintain; and Monitor.

Regression Analysis: In social science, multi-variant linear regression procedures are widely used in research. In general, multi-variant linear regression allows us to ask the general question “What are the predictors of Overall Program Effectiveness?” In order to perform a regression, a dependent variable is selected and independent variables are identified. In this assessment, the factor, “Overall Program Effectiveness” is the dependent variable. All other factors are used as independent variables. A multi-variant linear regression is conducted and predictors of Overall Effectiveness are identified. A factor is said to be a “predictor” if it correlates with (impacts) the dependent variable, Overall Program Effectiveness. With the AFA/EBI assessment, as can be expected, some factors correlate highly (strong impact) while others have little or no correlation.

• Top Priority: Your performance in this factor(s) is low and this factor has significant impact on Overall Effectiveness. Improving this factor will likely increase your Overall Effectiveness scores. If you want to improve Overall Effectiveness, this is the most effective place to allocate your resources.

the following overview of the assessment and a review of a few statistical concepts to promote understanding.

Statistics theory tells us that if we improve a factor that has a high impact on Overall Effectiveness, then Overall Effectiveness will also improve. But, in reality, does Overall Program Effectiveness really improve for an institution with a corresponding improvement in the institution’s predictors? Yes! Read on. Statistical Testing: Another very common statistical tool is the t-Test. The “Two-Sample t-Test” compares two data samples to determine if their means are statistically different. Means between two groups may appear to be different (i.e. mean of 4.63 and 4.71), but may be proven to be statistically equivalent if that difference can be attributed to random events. Means are considered “statistically significantly different” if those differences can not be attributed to random events. A t-Test is the statistical test that proves if two means are truly different.

8

Perspectives / Spring 2006

• Maintain & Improve: You are doing very well in this factor(s) and participants are telling you it is important. If you can do even better in this area your overall program effectiveness rate scores will likely increase. It may be worth moving time and money to this area. • Maintain: Participants are satisfied with these factors, however, they do not correlate with overall effectiveness and are, therefore, not of high importance. Using more time and money in these areas is not likely to improve Overall Effectiveness. You can continue efforts at the same level or you may be able to reduce time and money in these areas and use the resources to improve areas at the top of the chart. Information in this section of the Matrix may challenge your current approach to your work and create an opportunity for real change. • Monitor: Factors in this quadrant are areas in which your member satisfaction is low, but there is little correlation with Overall Program Effectiveness and therefore importance is also low. Look for ways to move time and money from these areas to the Top Priority and Maintain & Improve areas. Gaining Understanding from Assessment: How can you gain understanding and develop an improvement plan using AFA/EBI assessment results?


SCIARABBA WALKER & CO., LLP Certified Public Accountants Providing financial services to Greek Organizations

i i i i i

Annual Budgeting Monthly financial statements Membership billings Vendor payments Payroll services

i i i

Bookkeeping services Quarterly payroll filings File required annual state and federal tax returns And much more!

Call today! We can help! i

200 East Buffalo Street, Ithaca, NY 14850 (607) 272-5550 28 North Main Street, Cortland, NY 13045 (607) 756-0073

1. Start a review of the results with an overview of the Overall Effectiveness factor to view responses to each question and look for weak areas. Then, review how you stack up against other programs and how the various demographic groups (e.g. fraternity vs. sorority) and chapters on your campus responded. Note any populations that reported a significantly lower level of satisfaction. Addressing sub-groups may be more effective in gaining improvement than addressing the total population. 2. Review the Priority Matrix with particular consideration to the location of each factor. Focus on factors from the Top Priority quadrant. Your duty is to gain all of the information that you can on these factors. Review each factor, and the questions that comprise that factor, by demographic and chapter populations to determine if improvement will be best approached by targeting sub-populations or by addressing the entire population. The t-Test will tell you if the factor means for two populations are statistically different or if any differences between means occurred through random chance. This will prevent you from wasting efforts on sub-populations whose perceptions are not significantly different from the entire population. 3. Review factors in the Maintain and Monitor sections and search for ways to shift time and money to the top priority areas. In your exploration efforts, consider staff discussions, member focus groups, smaller focused surveys, etc. to assist you in collecting a more complete picture of the program. Now, it is time to act and improve. Action Plan: Having completed your review of factors and questions and collection of additional information, it is time to develop an action plan. Review factors in the Maintain and Monitor sections of the Matrix for possible sources of time and money to address factors in the Top Priority and Maintain/Improve areas. Develop focus groups and discussion groups with members from diverse demographic groups. Contact other schools through discussion lists and personal contacts to discuss possible actions for improvement. Build an action plan that includes delegating specific tasks to individuals and periodic reports on progress. Implement your plan.

Re-assess: Use the assessment to track your progress. Continuous assessment is important to confirm that your action plan is taking you in the right direction. Longitudinal data allows you to track how your actions have resulted in changing member perceptions. As your re-assessment confirms your improvement, actively share your successes. Write that article you have always thought about and/or offer a session at a regional or national conference. Become involved in increasing the knowledge base of the profession by sharing your experiences and invite others to share theirs in support of the Association and your profession. By working together as a profession, it is possible to identify effective practices and to share them with one another to improve the experiences of fraternity and sorority members. In this way, the profession and the Association are enhanced. Summary: The goal of the annual AFA/EBI Fraternity/ Sorority Assessment is to provide benchmarking information to each college or university on the perceptions of their fraternity/sorority members for the purpose of internal improvement. Institutions that annually participate in EBI assessments have an advantage since they have the evidence that informs them where to focus their efforts. Institutions that lack solid annual assessment, including prediction information, may be wasting considerable time and money to improve areas that will do little to improve their overall programs. Use of quality assessment results to improve campus programs can enrich the value of the profession and the Association of Fraternity Advisors. For more information on this study or how your institution can become involved, please contact Dave Butler, Project Director, at Dave@webebi.com. – David G. Butler is the AFA/EBI Project Director. – Sally Vestal is the Production Manager for EBI.

Spring 2006 / Perspectives

9


afa The First 30 Years – Dan Bureau

THE FORMATIVE YEARS (1972-1981) “What made AFA so strong so quickly was the support FEA [Fraternity Executives Association], particularly George Spasyk, T. J. Schmitz, and Durwood Owen, and NIC [North-American Interfraternity Conference], namely Jack Anson, gave to us in the beginning. Through their help the AFA/NIC annual conference became the best venue for communicating about problem chapters or making recommendations for national awards. You knew the ‘right people’ would be available at the conference to solve issues or to bring praise for a campus chapter. In later years, I remember NPC [National Panhellenic Conference] chair Lissa Bradford saying that a strong commitment to communication would bring NPC leaders to the annual meetings as well – and she was right, they did come. The early struggles for AFA were not about vision. We had a compelling vision. It was how fast did AFA want to go or should we go.” – Doug Lange, 1980 and 1981 President “With little money, AFA hosted a breakfast meeting with interfraternal constituents. The only agenda item was initiatives and issues and how we can work together. All the players were in the room together for the first time. Breakfast evolved into lunch and then we had committees. The most amazing thing is that in 1977 we had the NIC and FEA but no one was working together on common issues. As a young advisor, I thought to myself ‘How come these people can’t work together?’ AFA enabled this to happen.” – Shelly Sutherland, 1983 President While the Association of Fraternity Advisors was founded in 1976, efforts to connect the interfraternal world had been previously initiated by representatives of the NIC and FEA. The Fraternity Advisors Association (FAA), a loose confederation of individuals coordinated by James Brooks of the University of Kansas, provided opportunities to share information and create a network of colleagues; however, “no particular form or structure” would be “imposed upon the association…until more concrete purposes are suggested by various professionals in the field” (Lilly, September 1974). In addition, the Fraternity Newsletter was created as a cooperative effort of several individuals in 1974. It was distributed several times a year to a small list of subscribers for $12 annually. The newsletter provided a forum for colleagues to answer questions and share ideas, much as a listserv would function in the year 2006. The FAA was an association in name only and met infrequently throughout the early 1970s (Lilly, March 1976). Lilly wrote in the September 1974 newsletter, “There should be an association of fraternity professionals fulfilling the primary purpose of continuing education…such an association can provide an identity within the student personnel fields for the men and women who function as fraternity advisors/deans throughout the country” (p. 1). In the December 1974 Fraternity Newsletter Lilly declared “there is no reason that the NIC, FEA, and FAA should always meet at separate times and in separate locations.” Out of a joint meeting of all these fraternal organizations in 1976 AFA was born. 10

Perspectives / Spring 2006

This is the second installment in a four-part series about the evolution of the Association of Fraternity Advisors. An organizational meeting, hosted in June 1977 in Williamsburg, Virginia, coincided with the bicentennial of the formation of Phi Beta Kappa at William and Mary. Attendees determined the FAA would be abolished (Lilly, December 1976). John Mohr of DePauw University was elected as the first AFA President and would hold office until December 1977 at the first Annual Meeting of the Association. That December, AFA accepted the task of editing and distributing the Fraternity Newsletter. The June 1977 Fraternity Newsletter described the following purposes for the association: • to provide a forum through publications, meetings, and informal interaction for the regular sharing of ideas among student personnel administrators with responsibilities or interest in fraternity advising; • to offer informational services to campuses and individuals with questions or problems related to Greek-letter organizations; • to raise the visibility of and support for fraternity advising on college and university campuses; • to encourage interested and qualified individuals to seek college and university staff positions which include job responsibilities related to Greek-letter organizations; • to assist in maintaining positive, supportive relationships among student personnel administrators, fraternity executives and staff, the NIC, and related organizations; • to stimulate educational programming and student development concepts among fraternity chapters; and to promote research related to Greek-letter organizations (p. 2). The Fraternity Newsletter (Lilly, September 1977) promoted the first joint meeting between the AFA and the NIC. It was hosted in Indianapolis, Indiana. Eight educational sessions were held with 70 participants in attendance. The December 1977 Fraternity Newsletter provides a listing of all participants and offered the following prophetic statement: “Please note the enclosed attendance list... will provide a good historical record” (p. 1). Early newsletters also offered abstracts for workshops and included excerpts from the president’s address. Early growth in the Association is evident by looking at membership lists and conference attendance. AFA’s second president, Barbie Tootle, stated in her address, “We have come from a dozen advisors sitting in Williamsburg to 185 interested professionals” (Lilly, December 1978, p. 9). Tootle’s speech, as well as that of AFA’s third president Larry Lunsford, offered pleas for patience as the growth of the Association had gone so well that the leadership may have underestimated the work ahead of them (Lilly, April 1979).


Changes in leadership continued. The resignation of President Jerry Gallups forced Larry Lunsford into an early presidency in the spring of 1979 (Beyers, April 1979). He served in that position through 1980 leading the Association for more than a year and a half. When Lunsford’s term was over, Bill Brennan assumed the presidency; however he resigned his position due to illness in 1981 forcing Doug Lange into the role five months earlier than anticipated (Beyers, January 1982). The early challenges were many for the young Association. As the first five years of the Association came to a close in 1982, a new editor for the Fraternity Newsletter revised its format to include a calendar section and a listing of position announcements. Also, membership continued to increase annually culminating with 499 members in 1982 (Beyers, January 1982). The Association hosted Annual Meetings in Toronto, Fort Lauderdale, St. Louis, and New Orleans that provided opportunities for educational workshops. Each year Annual Meeting attendance increased, necessitating the need for the Association to continue its growth (Beyers, December 1979). During this time the establishment of the Center for the Study of the College Fraternity (CSCF) advanced the concept of the interfraternal world conducting student affairs research. In 1979, the Association conducted the first noted assessment of AFA members related to their demographics and positions (Beyers, April 1980). There were also increased volunteer opportunities for members. In an effort to commemorate a legend of the interfraternal world and begin recognizing outstanding work in fraternity and sorority advising and interfraternal support, AFA established the Robert H. Shaffer award (Beyers, February 1981). Each of these decisions and the role AFA played in supporting such initiatives provided evidence that the organization recognized its responsibility to advance a larger fraternal movement (AFA Timeline, 1997).

fraternities and sororities on college campuses provided important resources for the increased professionalism of the Association (Beyers, May 1981). In 1981, AFA joined the Council for the Advancement of Standards which facilitated a greater opportunity to interact with other professional associations in higher education (Beyers, September 1981). AFA’s involvement with the National Panhellenic Conference was also increased per a resolution delivered by then NPC chair Mary Barbee (Beyers, January1982). Both acts allowed AFA to be viewed as a collaborator in higher education and amongst interfraternal partners. Perhaps most notable, as 1982 came to a close, was the growing perception that AFA was capable of standing on its own. In his December 1981 state of the Association address, President Doug Lange stated, “During the summer [of 1981] other signs of stability took place. It was announced that the Advisory Committee from the Fraternity Executives Association, that had helped provide guidance to this Association in our beginning, had become defunct. Both groups were mutually agreeable with the fact that AFA was a group ‘unto its own’, stable in leadership, stable in membership with a solid financial status” (Beyers, January 1982, p. 4). The ability for AFA to continue without the direct and constant advisement of its founding association partners reflected that the professional organization had survived the formative years and was on its way to becoming a true professional organization committed to contributing to higher education and the interfraternal movement.

– Dan Bureau is the Assistant Dean of Students at the University of Illinois, Urbana – Champaign.

The passing of the Association’s first statements on hazing and alcohol misuse and resolutions supporting staff for fraternity and sorority communities (Beyers, February 1981) allowed for AFA to establish itself as a policy maker in student affairs. In addition, The Code of Ethics and a manual for professionals working with

REFERENCES AFA Timeline. A listing of significant events from 1973-1997. (1997). AFA Officer Files. (Available from the Bowling Green State University Library Student Life Archives, MS-364. Box 1.)

Lilly, J. (Editor). (1979, April). Fraternity Newsletter, 6 (8).

Beyers, G. (Editor). (1982, January,). Fraternity Newsletter, 9 (5).

Lilly, J. (Editor). (1977, December). Fraternity Newsletter, 5 (4).

Beyers, G. (Editor). (1981, September). Fraternity Newsletter, 9 (1).

Lilly, J. (Editor). (1977, September). Fraternity Newsletter, 5 (1).

Beyers, G. (Editor). (1981, May). Fraternity Newsletter, 8 (9).

Lilly, J. (Editor). (1977, June). Fraternity Newsletter, 4 (10).

Beyers, G. (Editor). (1981, February). Fraternity Newsletter, 8 (6).

Lilly, J. (Editor). (1976, December). Fraternity Newsletter, 4 (4).

Beyers, G. (Editor). (1980, November). Fraternity Newsletter, 8 (3).

Lilly, J. (Editor). (1976, March). Fraternity Newsletter, 3 (7).

Beyers, G. (Editor). (1980, April). Fraternity Newsletter, 7 (9).

Lilly, J. (Editor). (1974, December). Fraternity Newsletter, 2 (3).

Beyers, G. (Editor). (1979, Summer Supplement). Fraternity Newsletter, 7 (1).

Lilly, J. (Editor). (1974, September). Fraternity Newsletter, 2 (1).

Lilly, J. (Editor). (1978, December). Fraternity Newsletter, 6 (4).

Spring 2006 / Perspectives

11


Senior Student Affairs Officers’ Perspectives

From Fraternity/Sorority Advisor to Senior Student Affairs Officer – Debbie Heida

A

dvising fraternities and sororities is both hard and rewarding work. While holding fraternity and sorority advising positions, it is not unusual to wonder what your career path might look like or to ask yourself about the relevancy of your current responsibilities to your goals for the future. What do we learn in these positions that we carry forward? I asked several leaders who have moved into senior student affairs officer or senior management roles to share their thoughts on this subject: What lessons are learned that are invaluable to senior officers? • Students are, and always will be, the reason our campuses exist and the development of students at the individual level is what we are all about. Our lives are a mix of individual and group experiences and our work often focuses on student organizations. Nevertheless, we cannot forget that it is the individual student whose life changes, for the good and the bad, by the work we do and the organizations we support. Ed Whipple, Vice President for Student Affairs at Bowling Green State University, writes, “In working with chapter and council leaders I learned that students ‘on the surface’ may be fine, but underlying their sometimes tough demeanor were people who needed counsel, support, and a mentor. This rings even more true today and as a vice president it is foremost on my mind.”

• Learning to deal with difficult students is invaluable. I frequently tell new staff and parents, “We do a really good job at teaching critical thinking skills and lo and behold, we are often the first ‘victims’ of those newly acquired skills. Students will criticize our campuses, our policies, our residence halls, our food, our staff, etc. on the way to learning to love this place and this experience.” Larry Lunsford, Associate Vice President at Florida International University, writes, “[Fraternity and sorority members] are perhaps the most challenging students with whom to work, so confronting and dealing with the many issues faced by this constituency better prepared me to work with other students and issues particular to them.” • We live our lives in community, and teaching students to live in community is critical to their ability to be successful on 12

Perspectives / Spring 2006

campus and beyond. Lunsford writes, “All the facets of small and large group dynamics come into play, i.e. conflict resolution, public relations, motivation, problem solving, goal setting, etc., in working with [fraternity and sorority members] and are transferable to working not only with students, but with subordinates, supervisors, alumni, and the external community.” • It is a myth that you have to start in residence life in order to become a senior student affairs officer. You do need the skill set you would gain in residence life but you can learn this in fraternity and sorority affairs. Doug Lange, Vice President and Chief Learning Officer with Evolve Learning writes, “The voice of experience stated that by starting in housing you were exposed to all the facets of student life – advising, mentoring, promoting student development, and academic achievement, discipline, etc. As I think about it now, I realize that advising fraternities and sororities on campuses contains many of the exact same functions – and in many instances more because a [fraternity/sorority] advisor has to be concerned with additional noncampus entities (national officers, community agencies, etc.).” • Knowing about fraternity/sorority affairs is important; developing a “big picture” perspective is critical. The best way to stay sane and contribute most effectively is to remember that helping our students and others appreciate critical issues is the big picture. To many students on your campus, you are your campus’ mission statement in every action you take and interaction you have. Whipple continues, “I quickly learned as an advisor that the world does not revolve around [fraternity/sorority] affairs. My role, if the program was to be successful, however, was to ensure [fraternity/sorority] affairs aligned itself with the goals and priorities of student affairs. The same holds true for me now – student affairs as an administrative area must align itself to the university’s goals and priorities if we are to serve students successfully.” • All organizations are political and each of us has a responsibility to understand the culture and the politics of the organizations and campuses of which we are a part. Campus politics exist everywhere – learning

the mechanics of your campus processes, key decision makers, the history behind issues and policies, and “hot buttons” is crucial to being successful in your work. Lange writes, “The one lesson I learned from the very beginning in student affairs work – be that in advising fraternities or sororities or being with AFA – is that regardless of how hard you work, politics always has the upper hand with little room for mistakes.” • Working hard is not enough. It is not the hours you put in or the effort you expend. There are no merit badges for the number of hours you work every week and no one likes a martyr who will continually tell you how hard they are working. It is about creating programs and services that meet the needs of students. You will be evaluated on student learning and your success in creating meaningful student learning experiences. • Good mentoring is important. The give and take about what is going well or what you can do to improve, an honest conversation about goals and values, a sense of perspective when things go awry, encouragement to take brave steps and learn new skills – the list could go on about the assistance one can receive from mentors. For some of us, there is a single mentor over many years. For others, it is a group of colleagues to whom we turn for advice and counsel about the different parts of our lives and professions. The need is critical and the advice crucial to our successes and bouncing back from our failures. • AFA is an important step in learning critical skills and in developing effective relationships. Lunsford said, “AFA taught me the value of networking in higher education administration as well as the benefits of ‘borrowing’ from others so that we don’t have to continuously reinvent the wheel.” • Joy is contagious – nurture it and share it. Appreciation is vital – make sure you are thankful to those who make a difference in your life and your work. A love of students and the work we do makes student affairs one of the best jobs on campus whether you are a fraternity/sorority advisor or the senior student affairs officer. – Debbie Heida is Vice President for Student Affairs at Berry College


BOOT CAMP IS BACK! July 21–23, 2006 • Indianapolis, IN CAMPUSPEAK is pleased to announce the fourth annual Recruitment Boot Camp. RBC is the nation's only summer program focused on recruitment success for fraternities, sororities, and governing councils. The program is designed to help chapters and Greek communities find the members that they want and improve their ability to recruit them. RBC is geared toward chapters that are looking to improve as well as leading chapters hoping to stay on top. The program covers individual recruitment, chapter planning, year-round recruitment, and building your chapter's image. This year's Recruitment Boot Camp is scheduled for July 21–23, 2006 in Indianapolis at the Hyatt Regency Hotel. A professionals training session will occur on July 23, 2006. This session is for campus professionals, fraternity and sorority staff, regional and/or national volunteers, and chapter advisors. Many national fraternities and sororities offer scholarships for their local chapters to attend RBC. Others will match chapter funds to send their undergraduate leaders. Hotel accommodation at the Hyatt Regency is included in the student registration fee, however professional session registrants are responsible for their own accommodations.

RECRUITMENT BOOT CAMP

For more information on attending Recruitment Boot Camp, contact CAMPUSPEAK at info@campuspeak.com or (303) 745-5545.

RECRUIT OR DIE! www.campuspeak.com

Spring 2006 / Perspectives

13


Make Every Venture… an Adventure Article and Photographs by Steve Uzzell

o you remember going on an adventure as a kid? Do you remember how you felt – the incredible excitement… the anticipation? As an adult, have you been able to reconnect with those feelings? Do you sometimes wish you could? As if yesterday, I can recall stuffing my knapsack for an overnight camping trip with my best friend Rick to a new spot we had found the weekend before. We had our dogs and our fishing rods. We would explore and find hidden treasures. We were nine, and we had everything we needed for the rest of our lives.

D

We look around… are we walking uphill or down? We become very aware… into the sun or away? Toward the light or deeper into the forest? We become mindful of the clues offered by our surroundings… we look up and then down. We look behind us. We listen, to everything: the rhythmic rising roar of a fleeting cloudburst on jungle leaves bigger than our outstretched arms; the whispered whoosh of wind in a pine, the rattled rustle as it passes a birch; the water in the stream – is this a muffled gurgle, a popping trickle, or a mini thunder roll?

Well, what was that excitement all about? What happens to us when we are on an adventure that causes this excitement, this eagerness? An adventure always involves doing something we have never done before. We do not know the outcome – oh, we may know some of the outcome, we may be able to guess at more of it, but we definitely do not know it all. There is uncertainty and risk.

Because we are using our senses intensely, we make associations we would not were we not on an adventure. Now we hear two sentinel sounds – the wren and the squirrel are both warning the woods of our presence. How different, and yet how similar, their expressions of caution and alarm! We notice and appreciate disparate textures in contiguous surroundings – the softest moss, the hardest rock. We become aware of the myriad rhythms of nature. We feel more deeply. We become aware of our own rhythms, perhaps for the first time. Tiny increments herald big changes – the clean dampness of a light wind on our cheek and we know moist air will be arriving soon. Minutes later, the breeze changes directions and freshens – the afternoon will be quite different than this morning.

Some people like uncertainty and risk… some love it. Some dislike it… some hate it. Regardless of where we fall on that spectrum, there are some reactions to uncertainty and risk that are common to all of us: our hearts pump harder, which is usually a good thing; we are energized and excited, we are alert – fully alert. We are focused. We are engaged. If we’re on a serious adventure, being fully engaged is everything: our very survival may depend on it.

14

Perspectives / Spring 2006

We remain steady, even as we are constantly thinking ahead. Anticipation becomes a

positive force, no longer the negative pull of anxiety. We do not know what to expect, so we consider more, we remain open to a broader range of possibility. The humbling silence of a remote lake in the northern Yukon Territory is suddenly shattered by the razor-sharp cry of the loon. Is she laughing at us, warning us of dangers unforeseen, or alerting others of our intrusion? Refreshingly, we do not assume: our expectations are neither linear nor predictable. We question, and if we can, we verify. We know the rules, but we realize that on this adventure, the rules may not apply. We realize, slowly at first, that we are permitted to make new rules. And as our confidence builds, we feel encouraged – to revise, to raise the bar, to set new standards for ourselves. Now we will hold ourselves to a much higher level of accountability, for we are much more aware of the causal relationship between our actions and their consequences. Now we will be much more passionate and resourceful about finding our way to solutions, for we know that our safe return from this adventure will depend on it. On the first cloudless night on a tiny uninhabited island in the middle of the limitless Pacific Ocean, we startle to consciousness from a deep sleep, dazed, by the bright lights of just… the stars. No moon – just millions, billions, maybe even googols of stars – so astonishingly bright we can easily read by their light. So brilliant is the dimmest that it takes many anxious


minutes to find the Big Dipper; then the Little Dipper; then Polaris, the North Star; and finally… those touchstone bearings we thought we would always have. We have company on this adventure and we cannot wait until morning to share this night, so we rouse them and delight in their reaction. We earnestly seek out and listen to their musings. And in doing so, we become more reliant on each other. The collective sense of wonder that enthralls us becomes a wellspring of inspiration. We make connections in the natural world that escape us in civilization. We cannot help but be stimulated… by the clarity of shape, form, light, shadow, hue, and pattern. Fresh ideas arise from old connections, catalyzed by new stimuli. We are blessed to witness the marvel of tens of thousands of snow geese – cued by a precise signal of which we humans know nothing – taking simultaneous flight, filling the entire sky, circling twice and landing where they started. Why? Perhaps… just because they can. By the pure power of that experience, other images connect in our mind’s eye from completely novel perspectives. Those images link with ideas – some familiar, some not – then quickly merge into a film-like sequence, complete with silent narrative, and suddenly, we realize that only a few moments of our uniquely human condition have passed. Time intensifies its relentless game of hide and seek – when we are aware of it, it

slows way, w-a-y down… barely… moves… and as soon as we turn our back on it for a second to delight in a new discovery, 20 minutes disappear. Compelled by these new sensibilities, we pause often to reflect: we are filled with awe that we get to play any role at all on this glorious stage that is our universe. As a warm smile gently washes our face, we remember that inspiration also means to breathe in. And now we know, as surely as we breathe, that we have everything we need for the rest of our lives.

– Steve Uzzell is a photographer and speaker. In December 2005, he served as the AFA Annual Meeting Opening Session Keynote Speaker.

Photos by Steve Uzzell, ©2006, all rights reserved. Page 14: Flock of Snow Geese. These flocks can easily number 20,000 – 30,000, truly fill the sky, and also, because they are so loud, fill your head. They are quite thrilling to witness. Page 15 top: Swallow Falls in western Garrett County, Maryland. The Youghiogheny River tumbles through Swallow Falls State Park nine miles from Oakland, MD. Some of the most beautiful scenery in the state is in this park. Page 15 bottom: At 19 feet, Kilgore Falls in northern Harford County, Maryland is the second highest free-falling waterfall in the state. Through the work of the local citizenry this spectacular falls was added to the Falling Branch section of Rocks State Park in 1993.

Spring 2006 / Perspectives

15


The First 90 Days: Transitioning into a New Job h, she has everything she needs and knows what to do,” my supervisor said as she quickly ran out to a meeting. The clock read 8:15 a.m., a mere 15 minutes into my first day as a postgraduate school professional. I entered my office, turned on my computer and wondered where to start. I did not have a password, a parking pass, an ID, or know about which files to review. I began to think about basic needs to get me through the day. I figured out the remedial information, made a list of the offices to visit, and began familiarizing myself with my new surroundings and colleagues.

Meeting new people and developing a social niche were most frequently cited as a difficult adjustment issues (Cunningham, Johnson, & Suwalski, 2004).

By 5:00 p.m. I was exhausted, but headed to a meeting with students and administrators about a controversial new policy. Unfamiliar with the policy, I walked into a room filled with colleagues from many departments in the Division of Student Affairs. My heart was racing. Introductions were dealt as I scrambled to remember names and students began to arrive. Paired with another administrator, we were instructed to facilitate a conversation about the policy with some of the students and record their comments. Overwhelmed by the moment, I looked at the Associate Dean and joked, “Trial by fire.” He smiled, nodded in agreement, and thus began my first 90 days…

Learning the expectations of a position while developing a new relationship with a supervisor proved stressful for many respondents. This dynamic caused anxiety resulting in many participants feeling the pressure to not make mistakes (Cunningham, Johnson, & Suwalski, 2004).

O

Everyone has a unique story about their first job. Some new professionals start during a low-stress time allowing time to read documents, form relationships, and understand institutional culture. Others are thrust into situations that require them to move into their primary responsibilities with little formal orientation. Regardless of the situation, new professionals face an adjustment period from the idealism of graduate school to the realism of their new environment.

The second most common transition issue was change in a schedule. Some respondents were accustomed to freedom of flexible schedules that graduate programs allowed. Many were surprised at the rigidity of the 9 to 5 schedule. Others commented the absence of graduate school classes and assistantship structure made developing personal and professional boundaries difficult.

Adjusting to a new culture was frequently mentioned. Many new professionals simultaneously adjust to a new physical environment and a different organizational culture. Organizational culture must be studied and understood by new professionals in any environment to understand the political climate inherent in the organization. Schein (1992) proposed an effective model for new professionals to uncover the levels of culture. Understanding organizational culture is especially difficult in a new environment where one is unfamiliar with the norms

Artifacts

Transition Issues Cunningham, Johnson, & Suwalski (2004), cited personal adjustment, supervision, a new schedule, and learning a new political culture as the top transition issues facing new professionals. The top issue cited was personal adjustment, which varied from a person of color relocating to an area that is predominantly Caucasian, to struggles with changing banks, finding a place to live, obtaining a driver’s license, and getting accustomed to a new environment.

16

Perspectives / Spring 2006

Espoused Values

Basic Underlying Assumptions

– Megan Johnson (Schein, 1992). Professionals may take several months to learn how to ask questions and receive meaningful responses. Knowing the history and evolution of an institution can aid in the ability to navigate the environment. Job One Using current resources and understanding how others have been able to work through a transition period can assist in the new job transition. Job One: Experiences of New Professionals in Student Affairs by Magolda and Carnaghi (2004) can serve as a beneficial reference for the job search or the transition into a new position or role. It provides narratives of 12 different professionals in their first several years. The book contains four sections: the job search process, transitioning into a new job, personal identity and the job, and deciding on the next professional or educational step. The myriad of topics covered by the book can be helpful to a wide range of student affairs practitioners. It is particularly good for graduate students preparing for the job search, new professionals, supervisors of new professionals, and higher education faculty. Whether this book is read before or during the job search process, or after beginning a new job, the substance is relevant to new professional experiences in student affairs. Job One is a great tool to help someone transition into a new position; it enables the reader to feel a sense of comradeship with those who are

Visible organizational structures and processed

Strategies, goals, philosophies

Unconscious, taken-for-granted beliefs, perceptions, thoughts, and feeling (ultimate source of values and action)

From Schein, E. (1992). Organizational culture and leadership (2nd ed.). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass Publishers.


Tips for the First 90 Days – Megan Johnson and Kirsten Siron Young

in similar situations. This book can be used concurrently during the job search process, with a group of colleagues or to read during your first 90 days with other new professionals, making it a book club activity. Other ways to utilize this resource could include using chapters from the book as a focal point for dialogue with a supervisor or writing a personal journey through the first 90 days. Making the Most of Your First 90 Days Inevitably issues arise during the first 90 days that cannot be anticipated. Limited information can be gathered before, during, and after an interview with a potential employer. Not every job searcher or new professional considers medical insurance, paternity leave, gender dynamics, how various offices might interact in the same physical space, or how to engage students. Regardless of how prepared you feel, the transition from graduate student to new professional can be exciting and overwhelming – often at the same time. Knowing that others are experiencing the same transition and learning how to cope with changes can enhance your first 90 days as a new professional. Your first 90 days is a memorable time. Consider keeping a journal of experiences to reflect on your professional and personal growth. You will be able to see areas that still need improvement and identify ways you have truly evolved. Everyone has a unique story about their first 90 days. These stories can be humbling as we reflect on how we grow in the professional realm and how our initial impressions have changed with time. – Megan Johnson is the Assistant Director of Coeducational, Fraternity, Sorority, & Senior Society Administration at Dartmouth College.

REFERENCES Cunningham, S., Johnson, M., & Suwalski, M. (2005, April). The First 90 Days. Presented at the meeting of the American College Personnel Association, Nashville, TN. Magolda, P., & Carnaghi, J. (Eds.) (2004). Job one: Experiences of new professionals in student affairs. Lanham, MD: University Press of America. Schein, E. (1992). Organizational culture and leadership (2nd ed.). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass Publishers.

1. Be honest about who you are. Do not pretend to have knowledge about a subject if you actually do not know much about it. Do not act as though you really enjoy something if you truly dislike it. Those around you will pay close attention to what you say and do when you first arrive, and sharing a small piece of information such as the fact that you have a passion for judicial procedures (when you actually despise them) will definitely be remembered. This could repeatedly come back to haunt you since co-workers may think it is something of which you are extremely fond. 2. Be the expert. You have more knowledge than you realize. Be confident in yourself and do not be afraid to speak up and utilize your skills. Step outside of your comfort zone and you may be surprised at how much you know! 3. Build a strategy for learning new names and faces. When you begin a new job you will be meeting so many people that you may be overwhelmed. Look for ways to better remember as many of them as you can. Ask to meet students somewhere other than in your office, outside of your everyday environment. This will likely aid in remembering them because you will start to associate them with different places rather than just with the chair across from your desk. 4. Survey the landscape before you begin to build. Sit back and watch for a while, learning your new environment to the best of your ability, before you attempt to put any of your ideas into place. Remember, just because something worked very well at another institution does not mean it will work everywhere else, regardless of how similar the institutions are. 5. Provide an outside perspective. While you should not immediately arrive and begin making large-scale changes without surveying the landscape, you should be able to provide an outside perspective to the institution. One of the unique opportunities a new professional has is the power to ask a multitude of questions that may challenge the status quo. Understanding the “why” is essential in our work, and can be overlooked by people who have been at an institution for several years. Curiosity, a fresh perspective, and new ideas (if presented appropriately) can be refreshing to an institution.

6. Create a strong support system. Find a strong support system of individuals who are both within your new community and those who are removed and who can provide an outside perspective. Finding other new professionals and sharing your experiences with one another can act as a support group. Seek these people out on a weekly basis for the first several months allowing them to understand the evolution from your perspective as a new professional. 7. Cultivate a strong relationship with your supervisor. Set up expectations with your supervisor; be up front and honest about your needs and working style. Your supervisor can be your greatest ally in your transition, helping you seek out professional development opportunities in your new environment and aiding you in understanding both the political climate and the rules (written and unwritten) of the institution. 8. Be flexible and expect the unexpected! Your role may change several times; you may serve in a variety of roles (advisor, colleague, supervisor, facilitator, presenter, etc.) and be in contact with an even larger number of constituencies. Understand that you may be pulled in a multitude of directions initially as you seek to gauge more about your new role. 9. Connect with the community. Surrounding yourself with people who are more knowledgeable than you and soaking up their experiences and philosophies can aid in the understanding of a new environment. Finding a mentor at your place of employment a few months into your first job can assist you in navigating the culture and understanding how decisions are made, especially if you can find a mentor who is established and networked across the community. 10. Pace yourself. It is easy to say “yes” and be excited about taking on new roles and responsibilities. Your job is a marathon, not a sprint. Hit the ground running, but make sure you are balancing your happiness and health with your work.

– Megan Johnson is the Assistant Director of Coeducational, Fraternity, Sorority, & Senior Society Administration at Dartmouth College. – Kirsten Siron Young is the Coordinator of Residential Life and Greek Affairs at Jacksonville University.

Spring 2006 / Perspectives

17


Staying in the Game: Longevity in the Fraternity and Sorority Advising Profession – Michelle M. Espino and Gregory Mason

S

taying focused and motivated within any profession can certainly present challenges. Fraternity and sorority advisors must balance educating and advising students; negotiating with external entities including campus administrators, inter/national fraternity and sorority organizations, alumni, and parents; and contributing to the larger mission of a dynamic division of student affairs. Various roles and responsibilities can place a strain on the effectiveness of fraternity and sorority advisors, which attributes to high turnover rates or “burnout.” Graduate preparation programs rarely address the daily experiences of student affairs professionals, relying on the first professional position to provide practical experience. Fraternity and sorority advising is often assumed to be an entry-level position or a springboard to other administrative positions within student affairs. Many “seasoned” fraternity and sorority advisors would argue that their roles are anything but entry-level. From a research standpoint, the study of the fraternity and sorority movement is focused on the student experiences and the ways in which fraternity and sorority advisors can aid in student learning and development. Topics such as hazing, intake or recruitment processes, alcohol use, and academic achievement receive a majority of the attention. There is limited research discussing the context of the work of fraternity and sorority advisors or the motivating factors enabling them to stay in the profession as a chosen career. In order to gain insight about seasoned advisors, we reviewed data from the AFA Central Office membership files on the demographic characteristics of 103 AFA members with more than 15 years of membership. Forty-six members who were classified as Regular members (i.e. campus based professionals) and completed all entries in the AFA membership form were selected. We found that a majority of our seasoned members had Master’s degrees, were affiliated with a fraternity or sorority,

18

Perspectives / Spring 2006

had less than 20 years of AFA membership, were male, and identified as Caucasian (see Tables 1-5). Table 2

Table 1 Years of Membership

Number of Members

15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28

4 10 4 6 2 4 1 1 1 3 1 4 2 3

Table 4 Gender Female Male

Level of Education BA/BS MA/MS Ph.D./Ed.D.

Number of Members 5 28 13

Table 3 Affiliation with Fraternity/ Sorority Affiliated Non-Affiliated

Number of Members 40 6

Number of Members 21 25

Table 5 Ethnicity/ Race African American Asian/Pacific Islander Multiethnic/Multiracial Caucasian

Number of Members 1 1 1 43

With this brief glimpse into the composition of our seasoned professionals, we decided to ask a few of these advisors about their commitment to fraternity and sorority advising. Scott Reikofski, Director of Fraternity and Sorority Affairs at University of Pennsylvania; Beth Saul, Director of Fraternity/Sorority Leadership Development at University of Southern California; and Wes Schaub, Director of Greek Life at Case Western University shared personal experiences, aspects of motivation, and advice about staying in the field. Surround yourself with great people. Hire staff and graduate assistants who complement the office and add strength and diversity to the vision, mission, and goals of your area.

Mentor the next generation. Take time to mentor potential fraternity and sorority advisors on your campus or within the Association. The students you mentor may become the next fraternity and sorority advisors, leaders within the Association, or volunteers for the fraternal movement. Schaub states he is motivated by his former students: “I regularly hear back from former students who say how what they learned as chapter officers or [council] officers made a big difference as they get into or continue their careers.” Get involved and STAY involved in the Association and profession. Volunteer for positions within AFA, run for elected offices, chair committees, make contributions to the AFA Foundation, or present at the Annual Meeting. Involvement in the Association can help you stay current with issues facing the fraternity and sorority movement and can also create a network with veteran advisors, new professionals, and regional or inter/national staff members who provide advice and feedback about the same issues you may face on your campus. Remember the energy and passion that initially drove you to serve as a fraternity and sorority advisor. Reikofski shared his reasons for staying in fraternity and sorority advising. “Despite how frustrating it can be dealing with the same bad attitudes, alcohol, and hazing, I truly believe that fraternalism made such a huge difference in my maturation and growth in college as well as the support that I felt, the amazing friendships that still exist 28 years later, etc. Being able to facilitate that and trying to mold this important part of college for literally thousands of students each year can be really rewarding!” Saul shared how her personal values reflect those of the fraternity and sorority movement. “It’s very exciting to watch students develop in their leadership roles and guide them through challenging times… help [them] get to the next step… in their lives. The core values of fraternity/sorority life are very central to my own core values.”


With regard to personal reflection, Schaub stated, “Sometimes I need to go back into my own heart and rediscover why I love this, what I got out of it before and what I still get out of it, and try to create that passion, that motivation, and that ‘magic’ for my staff, my students, and others.” Keep a positive attitude and have a sense of humor. As student affairs professionals, we can certainly spend countless hours venting our frustrations about students. Allow yourself the opportunity to vent, but seek productive solutions for these concerns and know that the possibility is present to effect change, even for one individual. It is important to keep a good perspective and to have fun! Reikofski shared his thoughts about working through challenges: “The [fraternity/sorority] community needs to continue to change with the times and it becomes a challenge for me to move them forward and keep the community positively focused.” Utilize your peers and expand your knowledge/professional development. Some of the best and brightest people in the student affairs profession are your fellow fraternity and sorority advisors. Take time to talk with them and share ideas or “professionally borrow” to avoid reinventing the wheel. These skills can keep you from burning out. Saul shared: “Keep it fresh. Look for new ways to approach the same issues, the same training. Be creative, enroll others. There are so many times when the others that I partner with all the time help to balance me and keep me grounded.” Reikofski discussed the cyclical dimension of the field: “‘The more things change the more they stay the same’ always seems to be the mantra. Even though we go through the same pattern every year it is an entire new group of players that will respond differently.” Likewise, Schaub shared: “Each year, new student leaders have new visions and helping those come to fruition is challenging and engaging.” In regard to challenging yourself to learn more within the profession, Saul discussed the expansion of the professional role. “I work with parents now too and I find that very rewarding… The whole climate of higher education is intellectually stimulating and personally gratifying.”

Know your limits and be patient. Advising college students is a demanding job. Balance is sometimes elusive. Take care of yourself, get involved in external organizations, and develop hobbies outside of the profession. As Saul shared, it is important to “have other interests outside of work. Fraternity and sorority advising can and will take up as much of your life as you let it... Your effectiveness and commitment to a fraternal lifestyle and growth experience for students can be just as strong while you maintain other things in your life as well.” Reikofski shared his philosophy about patience as an invaluable aspect of fraternity and sorority advising. “We all run into brick walls; with students, alumni, etc. I can wait out any group of students that might not be forward-looking or any chapter that might not want to be part of the community. They all eventually graduate (we hope) or move on, and the next group that comes in gives an entire new perspective on issues and a chance to start over. I use that to my advantage when I can.” Moving On. These skills and strategies for staying in the field were also coupled with advice about deciding when to move on from fraternity and sorority advising. The reflections shared by our seasoned members include the following considerations. Professional growth. You may decide to advance your position within the student affairs hierarchy or seek further education. Although you may not have direct involvement with the fraternal community as a campus fraternity/sorority advisor, there are ways to stay connected. As Schaub stated, “I’d really like to move up to a Dean of Students/VP Student Affairs role where I can still directly affect and support the fraternity/sorority affairs office and program. Even then, I’d really like to get involved on the national fraternity level.” “I think I’ll always be involved in fraternities in one capacity or another… our world and our society provides very few opportunities for men to connect on a meaningful level, to build such close, intimate friendships that can last a lifetime. Good, well-run fraternities [can] provide these positive supports.” he said.

Motivation. If you are no longer motivated to serve as a fraternity and sorority advisor, your lack of enthusiasm for the work may negatively affect the quality of interactions you have with students, alumni, and regional or inter/national staff members. Know when it is time to move on. “I think when I just can’t get up to come to work anymore; it's time to get out. I don’t dread going to work and I don’t wait for 5 [p.m.] to get here. Those incidents pass and I’m ready to face what the next day has to offer,” said Saul. Schaub stated, “I think something else will take predominance in my life and I will move on to that. I have been so fortunate that things have worked out well for me.” The fraternity and sorority movement has certainly changed in the past 15 years, but the respondents’ dedication to serving the needs of students has remained. Commitment, passion, support, and personal reflection are attributes of successful fraternity and sorority advisors who continue in the profession after 15 years or more. Often considered an entry-level position, fraternity and sorority advising is becoming a preferred niche for many student affairs professionals. It is important to foster dedication and commitment with potential fraternity and sorority advisors through the councils we advise and the chapters we serve. Research is necessary in analyzing environmental and individual factors that contribute to burn out verses persistence in the profession. A challenge for AFA as an advancer of the fraternal movement is understanding what motivates members to stay in fraternity and sorority advising positions at various years of membership, and fostering those reasons in populations, including people of color, people with disabilities, and people who identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender. With this understanding, we can effectively respond to the current and futures needs of our students within the fraternity and sorority movement. – Michelle Espino is a doctoral student at the University of Arizona. – Greg Mason is the Director of Fraternity/ Sorority Housing and Development at the University of Central Florida

Spring 2006 / Perspectives

19


Staying Connected: The Long Term Value of AFA Membership

S

everal weeks ago, one of our campus’s most respected student leaders asked me to purchase a calendar for her organization’s fundraiser. I assumed that the calendar supported one of the many organizations of which Jamie is a member. When I inquired about which group the funds would support, she said that she was selling the calendars for a fraternity trying to raise money for a party. Many fraternity/sorority advisors can immediately recite the developmental conversation that ensued with this student. Carefully challenging how her espoused values matched her behaviors while supporting her desire to help her friend and his organization, we discussed why I would not buy a calendar. It was an “a-ha moment” for Jamie, and one of the teachable moments I relish. Although my professional responsibilities as Director of First Year Programs rarely require confronting the complexities and challenges of fraternity/sorority advising, my involvement with the Association of Fraternity Advisors remains an important and essential component for my professional development. Dozens of AFA members will leave their posts as fraternity/sorority advisors this year. Some will leave for jobs that encompass more than one functional area while others will turn to another specialized area of student affairs. In both cases, involvement and active participation in the Association can remain critical to a comprehensive professional development plan even when direct responsibilities do not include advising fraternities and sororities.

Staying connected with colleagues who engage students daily in conversations similar to the one I had with Jamie is valuable to me. Yet, there are more compelling reasons to stay connected and active in AFA. The question I am most often asked by colleagues is, “How do you convince your supervisors that your involvement is worth the institutional financial and staff investment?” There are several factors that support my participation.

20

Perspectives / Spring 2006

Getting out of your functional silo In 1997, the Association of College Personnel Administrators (ACPA) and the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA) published a landmark document enumerating seven principles for good practice in student affairs. The subtext of the entire document is that professionals must work across functional areas to forge educational partnerships that advance student learning. Educational models of the past encouraged specialization and expertise in a concentrated area. These functional silos “foster insular and self-referencing orientations” (Schroeder, 1999, p. 137). A new model is evolving, encouraging professionals with specializations to seek opportunities to diversify their skill set. Moving beyond fraternity/sorority advising is the professional path that many choose to travel, yet continued involvement in the Association will encourage you to transcend functional boundaries, inform your professional perspective, and position you to be an informed collaborator with colleagues in other areas. Linear thinking buffered by the comfort of area specialization can be dangerous, allowing professionals to detach from the core mission of our work: effective student service (Schroeder, 1999). Staying current with the developing issues across the student services spectrum will help you and colleagues identify trends earlier, borrow effective strategies from functional areas, and identify ways that student learning can be connected to the curricular and the co-curricular. Understanding other people’s problems It may be hard for current fraternity/ sorority advisors to imagine a time when they will not be solely committed to the growth and success of the fraternal movement. For others, this time cannot come too soon. Yet, maintaining your knowledge of fraternity/sorority issues and awareness of emerging and continuing trends is an essential component of longterm professional success.

– Timothy O. Haskell

The concept does not only apply to fraternity/sorority advising. When a professional transitions from one area to another, there is an assumption he/she is no longer accountable for previous responsibilities. Those in academe are socialized to believe that they are responsible only for their position; any failure elsewhere in the system is the fault of someone else. Seymour (2002) argues, “Communication and connectedness are discouraged through the use of function-specific lexicon and policies” (p. 148). To move beyond this mindset, it is important that we share responsibility for failures in the system. For example, it would be easy for me to dismiss the conversation I shared with Jamie as the problem of fraternity/sorority advisors. Through awareness and understanding of the issues facing the fraternity/sorority community, I can become a partner in the advising process by engaging her in meaningful conversation. I can calibrate the work of my functional area (orientation) to more effectively support important messages her fraternity/sorority advisors are trying to advance. Cross-functional knowledge and interaction is necessary. Moving beyond conventional organizational structures requires professionals to look beyond isolated problems to a broader picture informed by multiple perspectives (Kuh, 1996). Active involvement and participation in the Association is one way to inform your perspective as you pursue more senior positions or those in different functional areas. Maintaining involvement in micro-level organizations like AFA enhances knowledge gained through macro-level organizations such as NASPA and ACPA as well as your own position. Mentoring and guiding new professionals If we are to achieve and sustain excellence in the fraternal movement, the Association cannot reinvent itself on two-or three-year cycles with revolving membership. The growth and success of


AFA relies on the long-term commitment of its membership to contribute through participation in events and mentoring of newer professionals. Commitment to individual professional growth and the growth of the profession at large should not be mutually exclusive goals. When discussing my professional development plan, my supervisor and I agreed that my membership in AFA contributed to my knowledge and competencies that prepared me for my current position. Through conference attendance, volunteering, and mentoring of new professionals, I can serve as an active custodian of the Association that launched my professional career. Advancing the fraternal movement Whether you desire to forge future educational partnerships, maintain cross-functional knowledge and skills, or feel obligated to pay forward the guidance you received through AFA, membership in the Association provides important developmental opportunities and professional

connections that contribute to the vitality of growth for you and your institution. The chorus of complaints regarding diminished resources and understaffed departments will not be answered by more funding or new hires. They will be resolved by dynamic professionals who develop innovative solutions that cut across functional boundaries, utilize knowledge gained from multiple perspectives, and support the shared goal of student learn-

ing. I cannot think of another organized group of educators more suited to be the future leaders of innovation in student learning than those members of AFA.

– Timothy O. Haskell is the Director of First Year Programs at Santa Clara University.

REFERENCES American College Personnel Association and National Association of Student Personnel Administrators. (1997). Principles of good practice for student affairs. Washington, D.C.: Authors. Kuh, G.D. (2000). Understanding campus environments. In Barr, M.J., Desler, M.K., and Associates (Eds.), The handbook of student affairs administration. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Schroeder, C.C. (1999). Fostering educational partnerships that advance student learning. In Blimling, G.S., Whitt, E.J., & Associates (Eds.), Good practice in student affairs: Principles to foster student learning (pp. 133-156). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. Seymour, D. (1995). Once upon a campus: Lessons for improving quality and productivity in higher education. Washington, D.C.: American Council on Education.

Gamma Sigma Alpha honors the top 1% of fraternity and sorority members nationally, and members receive the unique opportunity to network with other outstanding students, as well as faculty and administrators

Gamma Sigma Alpha

Striving to uphold the highest ideals of scholastic achievement Gamma Sigma Alpha Sevices for Fraternity and Sorority Professionals: Recognizing Scholars Graduate Scholarships Faculty Advisor Resources Annotated Bibliography on Academic Achievement Research Initiative on Academic Achievement Academic Resources Regional GPA Awards

Gamma Sigma Alpha National Honor Society Committed to the academic achievement, leadership and excellence of fraternity and sorority members everywhere. For more information call 213-740-2080 or check out our web site at gammasigmaalpha.org. Membership Requirements: Students are eligible for membership based on grade point average and active membership in a fraternity or sorority recognized by their university or college. Only students with a cumulative grade point average of 3.5 or above at the start of their junior year or a grade point average of 3.5 or higher in any semester during their junior or senior years are eligible.

Spring 2006 / Perspectives

21


To Ph.D. or Not To Ph.D.? – Melinda Sutton

C

hris M. Golde’s (2001) article “Questions to Ask When Thinking About Pursuing a Ph.D” states that most doctoral programs take between five and seven years to complete, and up to half of the students who begin doctoral study do not complete the program. In addition, pursuing a doctoral degree can involve personal debt with more student loans and/or loss of income if attending full-time. Furthermore, personal sacrifices may be made when pursuing a doctoral degree, including time away from family and friends. These factors may make many wonder why anyone would pursue a terminal degree; however, for those who complete the degree, it can reap valuable rewards such as developing a research agenda, reaching professional goals and added credibility with faculty, staff, students, and parents. To learn more about the thoughts of individuals involved in the fraternal movement, three AFA members were contacted to share thoughts on pursuing a terminal degree. • Charles Eberly received his Ph.D. two years after master’s degree completion for “professional advancement purposes in higher education.” His intent was to be a vice president of student affairs. He instead became a professor of counseling and student development at Eastern Illinois University, mentoring many graduate students and providing countless hours of advice on pursuing a terminal degree. Dr. Eberly is a published author on the topic of selecting a Ph.D. program.

• Ron Binder, the Associate Director of Residence Life and Director of Greek Affairs at Bowling Green State University, pursued his Ed.D. three years after master’s degree completion while working full-time as a fraternity and sorority advisor at the University of Georgia.

22

Perspectives / Spring 2006

• Amy Vojta is the Assistant Dean of Fraternity and Sorority Affairs at Rutgers University. Following a year as a traveling consultant for her sorority, Amy entered into the profession of fraternity and sorority advising and has been an accomplished contributor to the profession without completing her Master’s degree. She has held a variety of fraternity and sorority advising positions at several institutions. These three individuals have each been successful in professional pursuits but have taken different paths to be active contributors to the fraternal movement. Making the decision Consciously or not, every student affairs practitioner will make the decision whether or not to pursue a terminal degree at some point in their career. The option is pervasive in the world of student affairs and is likely examined by most practitioners at some point. In fact, some may be in the process of determining that for themselves now. Regardless of the timing, it is not a decision to take lightly and involves a variety of factors. When considering the terminal degree, Golde (2001) suggests asking yourself why you want the degree in the first place. “You should be very clear about why you want to devote the necessary time and energy to developing specialized expertise in this area.” Individuals often pursue the degree for the opportunities it affords them, especially for student affairs practitioners. Binder admits, “I knew that in the long-run I needed the degree to open up doors for my future career.” The possibility of career advancement motivates many individuals to pursue the terminal degree. Increased credibility with faculty, student affairs colleagues, students, and parents is another doctoral degree benefit. The simple

addition of three letters following your name can make a big difference in an academic setting where value is placed on education and expertise. Vojta offers, “There’s nothing wrong with being a fraternity and sorority advisor and having a doctorate. If you like where you are in the trenches, we could use all the folks we can who are credentialed to help establish credibility and influence on campus.” Another factor in determining whether a terminal degree is right for you is whether you find the intense coursework and the integration of the theoretical and the practical interesting and exciting. Binder also was interested in pursuing a doctoral degree because he found the work intellectually stimulating, but a terminal degree is not the only option for those interested in challenging themselves academically. Vojta points out, “Even if book learning isn’t attractive to you, you still have to be a life learner. But, you’ve got to identify the environment, venue, or topic that makes you excited.” For Vojta, professional development opportunities have provided her useful information on a variety of topics and ideas she is able to incorporate into her daily practice. Pursuing a terminal degree is not an attractive option for her. Other issues to consider Aside from the over-arching issue of whether or not to pursue a doctorate there are other issues that must be considered. Often, the choices made about the following can determine whether or not you are successful in attaining the degree. Timing If you think further education may be a good choice for you, the next question to consider is when you would like to begin. Binder and Eberly each waited between two and three years before pursuing their terminal degrees.


“I wanted a little time to decompress after the master’s but started rather soon since I knew it would take a long time doing it part-time,” Binder said. In his 2004 article, Eberly suggests individuals have at least five years of post-master’s professional experience before pursing a doctorate to test long-term commitment to the field, discover the areas within student affairs they are most passionate about, and to create stronger connections between the concepts addressed within their coursework and their practical, day-to-day work. Vojta emphasized they must really “want it” due to difficulty in balancing work, studies, and a personal life and maintain the level of motivation for completion. What to Study While you may be passionate about your work in student affairs, this may not be the field of study that motivates you to seek an advanced degree. There are certainly benefits to receiving a degree in student affairs or higher education administration as the education would be directly applicable to your work. Many student affairs professionals choose different academic paths however, such as law, business, public policy, or organizational development to name a few. Vojta, for example, is participating in educational opportunities offered by the American Society of Association Executives and working toward a Certified Association Executive (CAE) designation. The CAE may not be an obvious choice for student affairs professionals, but it is the learning opportunity that she is passionate about and she has found ways to tie her education into her work.

institution near you, that may help make the decision for you. The culture of your current institution may also factor into what, if any type of degree you pursue. Vojta adds, “Some institutions have a true priority of integrating what is learned inside and outside the classroom and place a high value on the co-curricular experience. When those things are in place, it can help guide practice and could provide a better environment in which to pursue a doctoral degree.” Part-time versus full-time A final factor to consider in pursuing a terminal degree is to go full-time or parttime. Again, for many people this is financial matter since attending full-time would mean a reduced income. Eberly encourages students to go full-time, but recognizes not everyone is able. If the decision is made to go part-time, it is important to understand what that will require. “It is very tough to do a terminal degree part-time. You need to have tremendous diligence and persistence to finish the degree, especially once you are at the dissertation phase,” said Binder. He adds that if the decision is made to go part-time that you will need to be prepared to remain in your current professional position for four or more years to complete the coursework before moving on. Eberly suggests also completing the dissertation before leaving the institution. Online doctoral programs are also becoming popular, although their credibility within the academy remains to be seen (Eberly, 2004). He suggests looking for as many opportunities for face-to-face interaction with faculty members as possible when pursuing a doctoral degree.

whether you will go full-time or part-time, the next decision is selecting the program that is right for you. Eberly (2004) suggests visiting the institutions in which you are interested and meeting with faculty members. “I am convinced that the most significant factor in completing the dissertation is the positive connection between faculty mentor and student, developed from the very start of doctoral study,” Eberly said. He also suggests to not necessarily consider the prestige of the institution, but rather the prestige of the particular department to which you are applying. Making the decision to pursue a terminal degree is not easy and requires considerable time, research, and self-exploration. This may not be the right decision for everyone but can be a rewarding experience for many who pursue these degrees.

– Melinda Sutton is Director of the Office of Student Development at the University of Texas – Tyler.

Ph.D. versus Ed.D. Another issue to consider is whether to pursue a Ph.D. or Ed.D. Many student affairs practitioners at any level have both and either can be beneficial. According to Binder, if you are going to be an administrator, then it does not matter which degree you pursue. Eberly agrees. “Only when one considers the likelihood of carrying out a career-long line of research or envisions a career as a faculty member does the type of degree become salient,” he said. It may also be a matter of feasibility and convenience, too. If you are working full-time, do not want to move, and an Ed.D. program is what is available at an

So you’ve taken the plunge. Now what? After determining whether a terminal degree is right for you, when you might start, what degree you want to pursue, and

REFERENCES Eberly, C. (2004, November 9). Selecting a doctoral program in student affairs. NASPA NetResults. Retrieved February 13, 2006 from http://www.naspa.org/membership/mem /nr/article.cfm?id=1472.

Golde, C. (2001). Questions to ask when thinking about pursuing a Ph.D. Retrieved February 13, 2006 from http://www.phd-survey.org/advice/ advice.htm

Spring 2006 / Perspectives

23


2006 AFA Awards Nominations he AFA Awards and Recognition Committee invites you to nominate your colleagues for the 2006 honors. Each year, AFA seeks to recognize outstanding contributions by our members/colleagues in ten different categories. It takes only a few minutes of your time to submit a nomination. The process relies on your nominations. Nomination forms, lists of previous recipients and related information may also be accessed on the AFA website (www.fraternityadvisors.org). All nominations must be postmarked or e-mailed by July 28, 2006.

T

DISTINGUISHED SERVICE AWARDS

The recipients of the 2006 awards will be announced during the AFA Annual Meeting in New Orleans, Louisiana. Awards to be presented at the closing banquet are the Robert H. Shaffer, Jack L. Anson, and Distinguished Service Awards. All other awards will be presented at the AFA awards and recognition luncheon.

Nominees must be Affiliate, Associate or Regular members of AFA and may not be a member of the Executive Board or Awards Committee. Previous recipients are ineligible. Self-nominations are accepted.

ROBERT H. SHAFFER AWARD This award was established in 1980 by AFA in honor of Robert H. Shaffer, professor of education at Indiana University and mentor to many professionals in the fraternity movement. The award is presented annually to an individual in the field of higher education who has demonstrated a long-term commitment to fraternities and sororities. The individual should have demonstrated a commitment to fostering change in the fraternity/sorority community, building partnerships in higher education and the interfraternal community and mentoring both new and seasoned professionals. Nominees may not be a member of the Executive Board or Awards Committee. Previous recipients are ineligible. Self-nominations are accepted. In addition to your nomination form and letters of nomination (a minimum of three letters are required), a one page biographical synopsis including education, professional positions, and interfraternal service is required.

JACK L. ANSON AWARD This award was established in 1982 in honor of the retiring executive director of the National Interfraternity Conference. This award is presented to a well-respected individual not in the field of higher education, who has demonstrated a long-term commitment to the fraternity/sorority community beyond just his/her respective organization. The individual should have assisted in developing partnerships with higher education and the interfraternal community, fostered change to advance the fraternal movement, and served as a role model for students and/or professionals. Nominees may not be a member of the Executive Board or Awards Committee. Previous recipients are ineligible. Self-nominations are accepted. In addition to your nomination form and letters of nomination (a minimum of three letters are required), a one page biographical synopsis including education, professional positions, and interfraternal service is required.

24

Perspectives / Spring 2006

This award was created in 1985 to recognize individuals who have exhibited high professional standards and achievements in fraternity/sorority advising and outstanding achievements in one or more of the following areas: service to AFA; programming and/or service which reaches beyond the recipient's campus/organization; development and research activities; and/or service to the college and fraternity/sorority communities.

GAYLE WEBB NEW PROFESSIONAL AWARD This award was established in 1990 and re-named for AFA’s first Executive Director, Gayle Webb, upon her retirement in 1999. The purpose is to recognize outstanding contributions to the field of campus advising by an AFA member during his/her first two years of professional employment. Nominees will be judged on contributions in the following areas: Campus/professional experience; AFA contributions; outstanding projects/programs/initiatives. Nominees must be Regular members of AFA and may not be a member of the Executive Board or Awards Committee. Self-nominations are accepted. Two letters of recommendation are required and may be submitted from any of the following three (3) choices – supervisor, student, or colleague. Letters of recommendation should address at least one, but preferable all three, of the judging criteria.

OUTSTANDING CHANGE INITIATIVE AWARD Established in 1996, this award is presented to institutions of higher education or Associate member organizations that have made tremendous progress and improvement in the fraternity/ sorority community within the past year. The award recognizes major initiatives or long term plans that have led to positive changes within the fraternity and sorority community and measured improvements, results and positive outcomes in all or some of the following areas: scholarship, educational programs, leadership development, risk management, retention, and membership recruitment. Applications and/or nominations from anyone impacted by the change initiative are strongly encouraged. Please provide certified information regarding the environment that led to the change as well as the actual initiative and how it sought to develop a partnership between the host institution, alumni, students, and inter/national organizations.


DIVERSITY INITIATIVE AWARD

OUTSTANDING VOLUNTEER AWARDS

Established in 1994, this award is presented to an individual who has contributed significantly to the development of multicultural relations or diversity education in a college or university fraternity/ sorority community. Criteria for this award include Affiliate, Associate, Graduate, or Regular membership in AFA and significant involvement in diversity issues. Detailed information should be included in the letter of nomination regarding the diversity initiatives implemented.

This award is presented annually to up to eight appointed volunteers in recognition of outstanding contributions. Nominations are solicited from supervising volunteers.

PERSPECTIVES AWARDS These awards were established in 1988 to recognize those fraternity and sorority professionals who have written thought-provoking articles that are educational and enlightening to the AFA membership. Articles may have been previously published. Awards are presented to the authors of as many as two (2) articles. Articles published in Perspectives between Fall 2005 and Summer 2006 will be considered.

EXCELLENCE

IN

EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMMING AWARD

The purpose of the Excellence in Educational Programming Award is to recognize new and innovative programs that are created by the general fraternity/sorority headquarters and/or foundations for use at the undergraduate level. Fraternal organization may not receive the award more than once for the same program in a three-year cycle. Separate application materials for this award will be sent to each inter/national organization and may be requested from the AFA Central Office.

ORACLE AWARD This award will be presented for the first time in 2006 based on outstanding written contributions to Oracle: The Research Journal of the Association of Fraternity Advisors. Established in 2005, this award recognizes research relevant to the fraternal movement. Articles published in Oracle: The Research Journal of the Association of Fraternity Advisors between August 2005 and August 2006 will be considered.

Spring 2006 / Perspectives

25


2006 AFA AWARDS NOMINATIONS FORM Please check the appropriate square to indicate the award for which the nomination is being submitted.

■ Robert H. Shaffer Award

■ Jack L. Anson Award

■ Gayle Webb New Professionals Awards

■ Outstanding Change Initiative Award

■ Distinguished Service Awards

■ Diversity Initiative Award

Nominee ______________________________________________________________________________________________ Position/Title __________________________________________________________________________________________ Institution/Organization ________________________________________________________________________________ AFA Regional Designation ______________________________________________________________________________ Address ______________________________________________________________________________________________ City/State/Zip

________________________________________________________________________________________

E-mail ________________________________________________________________________________________________

Please attach to this form your nomination letter(s) providing, in detail, the reasons why you are nominating this person/initiative/program and why this person/initiative/program is exceptionally deserving of the recognition. Ensure that any special requirements listed in the award description are also included.

Nominator ____________________________________________________________________________________________ Position/Title __________________________________________________________________________________________ Institution/Organization ________________________________________________________________________________ Address ______________________________________________________________________________________________ City/State/Zip __________________________________________________________________________________________ E-mail ________________________________________________________________________________________________

Completed nomination form and letters must be postmarked, faxed or e-mailed by July 28, 2006. Send all materials to:

Direct all questions to:

2005 AFA Awards

Victor Felts

AFA Central Office

AFA Awards Chair

9640 N. Augusta Dr., Suite 433

404.727.4142

Carmel, IN 46032

vfelts@emory.edu

317.876.3981 (fax) info@fraternityadvisors.org

26

Perspectives / Spring 2006


Association of Fraternity Advisors www.fraternityadvisors.org 9640 N. Augusta Drive, Suite 433 Carmel, IN 46032

Presorted First-Class U.S. Postage PAID Ames, Iowa Permit No. 307


AFA Perspectives Spring 2006